In some ways, the title of this post isn’t deserving of the “Blizzkrieg” title, as I’ve used it back in 2011 when we got almost 11″ of snow, and again in 2019 when we ended up with 12″ here in Marshall. Perhaps we’ll end up with a ton of snow another time this year but…
Today is not that day.
Indeed, the snow hasn’t been the problem this time around. Instead, the utter ridiculous extended cold temperatures are the problem, and I hereby propose that the relentless cold is worse.
Since last week in Marshall, we have spent most of our time in single-digit temperatures. Last week, we occasionally made it to 14 F, but that that was usually later in the day and due to cloud cover locking in something resembling “heat.” Over night, it always got crazy cold again and stayed there until mid- to late-afternoon. The wind chill has been consistently in the -10s F, and right now, it’s -26 F. Heck, it’s bad enough in the Midwest that Texas is fighting single-digit temperatures, and it’s causing brown outs with their power grid.
More locally, for this reason, the kids have been effectively off school for over a week. They were out on Monday and Tuesday last week outright, and then had remote learning Wednesday through Friday. Brooke did her best to get them started in the mornings, and then I came home and did my office hours remotely so I could keep an eye on them in the afternoons.
Because the temperatures have been so terrible, my running routine has been mostly shot to heck. I broke out the YakTrax I got for Christmas so I could try and put in some miles before the weekend arrived, but those only did so well. The roads actually improved a bit, but the YakTrax were really only useful on packed down snow and not so much exposed asphalt or slush. I’ve been relying on our kettle bell sets and the rowing machine downstairs to keep things going in the meantime…
Once this past weekend arrived, however, we were plunged into low single-digit weather with a high of 1 F multiple times. Right now, it’s still -1 F, which is the warmest it’s been all day. The kids are off school for President’s Day, but tomorrow will be another remote learning day for them. Things got so bad that Missouri Valley also went remote for these two days, which was fine for my lectures this morning, but less helpful for the lab days I’m supposed to have tomorrow.
The snow that’s been falling the last few days hasn’t been that terrible, but that’s only because it’s been so dry. I can go out and use a broom to sweep it off, but I’ve been doing that 2-3 times a day, with about an inch or more each time. I don’t know how much snow we’ve officially accumulated at this time, but I’ve got some pretty solid piles going next to the driveway and sidewalks. Out in front, with a ruler, I measure 4.5″ with it still falling, but the official total could be off from that due to the wind blowing it around.
The kids have largely taken to it all okay. We’re having to keep the heat cranked in the house, and I closed the curtains to try and block the drafts into this old house. Mom came to town on Friday to give the kids a break from me being around the house, and we think that helped them get through the weekend without any “attitude issues.” Brooke scheduled some activities for Valentine’s Day like making sugar cookies, waffles for dinner, and a family game of Hearts later in the day.
They also got a new game for the Switch to help entertain them a bit. It’s one of those times where it would normally be great to have a few snow days, but since it’s so cold outside, we can’t in good conscience send them out there!
As the forecast above indicates, later this week should get better. I’ll certainly be a lot happier when the kids are back in their routine, and I can go for a run without having to wear temporary cleats and long underwear. Believe you me, I’m ready for Spring!